Type to search


The Professor Project premiers in Drake’s Anderson Gallery

This past weekend, Drake University’s Pro­fessor Project highlighted artwork inspired by Amahia Mallea, a visiting professor of history. The exhibit ran all weekend in Drake’s Ander­son Gallery in the Harmon Fine Arts Center. This was the sixth year for the Professor Project. The project merges visual art with inspiration from another field of academia.

The art students are members of Associate Professor of Art and Design Angela Battle’s painting courses. Battle is the coordinator of this annual interdisciplinary project.

Mallea is currently studying environmental and public health history of the Missouri River. Her presentation, “The River Becomes You”, showed how the relationship between the natu­ral world and how it becomes a part of urban environments. Mallea focused on the Missouri River’s history and its integration into the social and ecological history of Kansas City.

Senior Mary Kate Miller’s untitled painting reflected her feelings about the power plants along the Missouri River. Officials have tried to purify the water that has been damaging the plants, but have ended up polluting it even more. Residents along the river tend to be low income, and the river has made them ill and has damaged their homes when it has flooded. Mill­er said she had a special quality to the painting,

“If you take a picture of it with a cell phone, the tree actually looks dirty,” Miller said.

Rachel Crown, a senior art history and painting major, took a different approach to her painting. Crown found it most interesting when Mallea discussed the “the me and the not me.” She explained that the river is a part of you.

“You drink it, absorb it, it is a part of our system,” Crown explained.

Crown’s piece was a duel comparison and reflection on how one sees them and how others see them. Her piece was a collaboration of lay­ers over a different painting.

The upstairs of the Anderson Art Gallery had poems read by students who also did col­laboration with an art class. Art students created paintings of a poem, and students wrote poems about a painting.

This was junior Lisa Jaffe’s first stab at read­ing her poetry aloud to an audience. Jaffe read two of her poems, “Etched in Memory” and “Plastic.” She said she was oddly calm before the performance.

“I look forward to seeing how the audience interprets and reacts to my poems,” Jaffe said. “It is always interesting to see what other people think of your work.”

The exhibit was cosponsored by Friends of the Drake Arts. It was filled with friends, faculty and students. There was also an open buffet of fall treats such as cookies, pudding and cider.

“I am really proud of my friends and class­mates, this is phenomenal work,” senior Holly D’Anna said. This was D’Anna’s first time at the show, and she was there supporting a friend.

“The Professor Project engages young art­ists by exposing them to materials and ways of thinking that are new to them,” Battle said in a previous interview. “Their work is a response to something new within the existing formal and conceptual frameworks in which they are famil­iar.”

The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Photos: Darcy Dodge

Next Article


  1. Raventinkie October 11, 2010

    Clearification: The drawing exhibit on the second floor is in the Weeks Gallery! The Anderson Gallery on the first floor and the Weeks Gallery on the second floor are separate. In the Weeks Gallery: students in Professor Benjamin Gardner’s drawing class and students in a poetry class collaborated to create the exhibit called “Call & Response”. Artwork by students in “Call & Response” did not necessarily have work in “The Mallea Project” (Professorship Project), although a couple students did, because they are currently studying both Drawing and Painting in those particular Drawing and Painting classes.

    Pudding? Seriously? How about delicious butternut squash soup! It was so good! + like ten million other things! Friends of Drake Arts gave $200 more dollars to the Professorship Project opening..! Thank you, Friends of Drake Arts!

    Great article. Collaborative projects like this really make this University and has made my experience here special!

  2. Anderson Gallery October 13, 2010

    Additional clarification:

    The show will actually be open to the public through November 7th. Please visit the gallery and see the work the painting students completed for this project! The gallery is open from noon to 4pm Tuesday through Sunday, and is free!

    If you are interested in learning more, Professor Amahia Mallea will be having an informal discussion with the artists in the gallery on Friday, October 22nd from 5-6pm. It is free and open to the public for attendance.

    For more information on gallery events and exhibitions, you can visit our website (http://www.drake.edu/andersonagallery) or find us on facebook.

  3. Raventinkie October 13, 2010

    I need to edit my previous comment: “Great article,” since the article is confused and misinformed. Please practice good Journalism and write an accurate article.

  4. Scarlett November October 13, 2010

    The photo above where the article describes Rachel Crown’s artwork, is deffinately not her work–that is very deceptive to the reader. The “Call and Response” show and the “Mallea Project” are completely different shows and will be up and open ALL MONTH not just the previous weekend which merely featured the galleries celabratory “opening” on Friday.
    There was also no poetry reading at the “Call and Response” show, the artwork was simply displayed with the poetry and the quote about this featured in the article gets the facts all wrong.
    If you are going to write an article featured in a college magazine, learn to get the facts right and don’t just copy and paste things from random sources to fulfill the writing requirement.

    Thank You 🙂

  5. H. A. Wist October 13, 2010

    Please get your facts straight before publishing articles. This piece was botched and elementary. The lack of attention to details is insulting.There was no poetry read at the opening. You’ve paired Rachel’s quote with a different painting. etc.

    “The Mallea Project” and “Call and Recall” are two SEPARATE art shows that had a joint opening. The Mallea Project is open to the public during the regular hours of the Anderson Gallery until Nov. 7th.

    The works featured in The Mallea Project were made in response to a presentation by professor Mallea about her research. This presentation enlightened the artists with some history and ideas of urban infrastructure particularly in the Kansas City water system. The complex relationships between people and the environment were brought up, particularly the idea that people who live in the city are separate from the rivers that support them. The artists created more than just illustrations of presented material, they are engaging in an informed visual discourse.

    Please review
    1) how to analyze artworks
    2) how to match photographs with their descriptions
    3) how to take and present other people’s quotes

Skip to content